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Old 01-10-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Location: South Carolina, but headed back to Michigan
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Lightbulb Family looking to Skoolie full-time

Hello! My family and I (three of us) are looking to buy our first bus and spending the next ~2 years converting it so we can live out of it full time when we move back to Michigan. Our biggest hurdle will be insulation for those cold Michigan winters, but I'll be saving that for another thread. We are looking at full size buses, and keeping our budget fairly low and planning on using a lot of re-purposed materials. Looking forward to seeing other people's work and bouncing ideas off other members here. It's excellent that there is a whole web community devoted to this!
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:32 AM   #2
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(Bansil edited this post)
Edited,
This is not they way to try and sell something here
You can put a post in classified
(/basil)
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcjoiner View Post
I have a 34 ft blue bird all American blue bird bus that was last in family bus business. 391 industrial gas burner, Allison trans. I've converted it with a 34ft allegro notorhome. It has been rebuilt front to rear. It has been regeared and is fast and quiet. I did this about 10yrs ago,. We didn't use it much for bout 5 yrs and has less than 15k on rebuild. It has mostly sat for about 5 yrs and time to let it go. Im not afraid to go cross country in it. There's no way you can build one for the $11,500i'm asking. The motor and trans rebuild,highway gears, and 5k onan would cost that much. The paint is getting bad but looks good from a distance. Interior nice
I may be wrong, but it looks like the op was looking for something to build out. While you may think someone can't do something for a certain price, some people are more resourceful and patient than others. Sometimes being involved in the build process is half the value of the bus. Its not just always about what the finish product costs.

To the op, good luck in your search and welcome to the forums.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:44 PM   #4
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Welcome, many others have the same dream

Remember to smile everyday, with your project
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Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:59 PM   #5
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Good to see you know it will take time to do the conversion.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:23 AM   #6
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
Good to see you know it will take time to do the conversion.
I think most folks assume its going to take upwards of a year or so.
I may get mine insulated and paneled, then finish it next year. That way I can enjoy it for the summer. We will see how it goes.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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Location: South Carolina, but headed back to Michigan
Posts: 84
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Quote:
Originally Posted by headinthetrees View Post
I may be wrong, but it looks like the op was looking for something to build out. While you may think someone can't do something for a certain price, some people are more resourceful and patient than others. Sometimes being involved in the build process is half the value of the bus. Its not just always about what the finish product costs.

To the op, good luck in your search and welcome to the forums.
You would be correct. Having it done in a way that suits our needs and doing it ourselves gives us assurance in our home. Cost is certainly a constraint for us, but there are certainly things that we will not skimp on. It will be tough at times to find the time to work on it, but the motivation to get out from under a mortgage will be on our minds.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:54 AM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 100
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9; MT643
Rated Cap: (was) 44; (now) 2
Hi! We are in N. Carolina and recently traveled to north Ga. to buy a BB TC2000. It makes me smile every time I look at it! (How do you know you're in *luuuuuvvvv*?)

anyway, on this site, I found reference to a bus yard in Cleveland Ga and called him about some parts for the beloved TC. I don't know if he sells buses but he was one knowledgeable cat and could probably offer good guidance. I suggest contacting him. [from another skoolie member sticky post on Conversion General Discussion forum]
Wade's Garage
198 Alonzo Wade Rd.
Alto, GA 30510
Mon - Fri 8AM-5PM
706-778-6400
706-778-4721
706-778-5341
706-778-8739

Also, we watched NC school bus surplus website for listings of possibles; they go *quick* in WNC. http://ncschoolbussales.dpi.state.nc.us/
Downside of these types of purchases is that the garage manager appears to have no room to negotiate and will do nothing extra...also you cannot take them out for a test drive (insurance reasons)...it IS a state agency, after all.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:53 AM   #9
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Location: Winlcok, WA
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As you set out on your quest for the "perfect" bus, be aware that not all buses are created equal.

I toured the IC Bus Plant in Oklahoma City last fall and counted at least ten different ways in which they painted the hoods. And in much in the same way, what is under the hood of all of the buses is not the same either.


Generally speaking, buses from the west command higher prices for a several reasons.
  • Almost none of the states in the west use salt on the roads in the winter. As a consequence, rust is virtually a non-issue.
  • Due in large part to the mountains, the gradability requirements are such that engine HP is larger to get up the hills and the brakes are larger to keep from going too fast down the other side. CO spe'c buses all have auxilliary braking systems as a standard.
  • Many western states like WA, OR, and CA have mandated 12" windows for many years. IC made the 12" window standard about 10-years ago. 12" windows equals 78" headroom. 9" windows equals 74" headroom.
In other words, a $4,000.00 bus purchased in WA and driven across the country may actually be a better value than a $4,000.00 bus purchased locally.

Good luck and happy trails.
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